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PF Tlli^ 



June r>th, 1816, 












June 5th, 1545. 






Philanthropic Hall, July 25th, IS IC. 
Dear Sir : 

At a meeting of the Philanthropic Society, held on the 21th inst., the 
tollovving resolution was unanimously adopted : — 

" licsol vol— Thdt the thanks of this Society be tendered to Bartholomew F. 
Woore, Esquire, for his very able, eloquent and instructive address delivered 
before the two Literary Societies, on the day preceeding our Annual Com- 
mencement, and that a copy of the same be requested for publication." 

In thus discharging our duty, permit us to express the high gratification 
we realized during its delivery, and to add our personal solicitations to 
those of the body we represent. 

With great respec!, 

JOHN POOL, S Committee. 

To B. F. Moore, Esq. 

Halifax, August Sth, 1S45. 

I have received your letter of the 25th ult., enclosing a Resolution of the 
Philanthropic Society, requesting me to furnish for publication a copy ofthe 
Address which I had the honor of delivering before the two Literary Socie- 
ties on the day preceeding your late Commencement. 

In accepting your invitation,! yielded to a sense of duty ; and an establish- 
ed usage requires that I should now comply with your request for a copy; 
and it is, accordingly, herewith sent. 

For the flattering terms in which the Resolution is couched, I owe to your 
body ati acknowledgement of thanks, which you will be pleased to make for 
me. And accept for yourselves, gentlemen, the assurance of my deep obli- 
gation to you, for the kindness and courtesy with which you have commu- 
nicated its wishes. 

With great esteem, 

I am your fellow member, and obd't serv't, 

To Messrs. Jno. J. Kindred, ) 

John Pool, > Comrmttcc, 

Jos L. BoZMAN. S 


Gentlemkn or the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies: 

Tlie invitation which phices me before you on this in- 
teresting- occasion, was to me a command. The honor 
it bespeaks had been ill requited; indeed, if, without a 
better excuse than a short absence from the incessant 
round of professional avocations, the required service 
had been withheld. I felt that if I declined, I should be- 
tray an insensibility to the kindness of my young friends 
utterly alien to my bosom, and an unbecoming indiffe- 
rence to the welfare of thisUniversit}^, by much the fair- 
est jewel of the Sfate. 

Duly affected by both, I come with more zeal to man- 
ifest my sense of a duty, than with hope to ratify the 
judgment of a flattering selection. A partiality unexpect- 
ed, and, I fear withal, quite unmerited, will be mucli 
more needed for the errors of the task, than for the mo- 
tives of the attempt. 

On no prior occasion have the friends of our literature 
convened with happier auspices to reward them for the 
past, or to stimulate them to future exertions : society a- 
waits the present tribute of learning with delight, and re- 
joices in the fruitful prospects of years advancing to re- 
cruit her with fresh stores: and the State, favored by her 
foresight in ordaining this seat of learning, is preparing- 
to reap the rich harvests of her care — doubly blessed, 
— blessed in the crop which she gathers, and blessed 

in the seed il supplicSj fur anipler fields and forests yet 

As a citizen, I deeply feel, nnd am proud to express my 
gratitude to the excellent and able men under whose 
wise conduct the University has attained its elevated po- 
sition and rival rank amongst the most distinguished lite- 
rary institutions of the country : men who never feel in- 
difference towards the youth instructed by their care, 
but watch their progress in the active scenes of life, 
nnd rejoice as fathers do, when they mount to emi- 
nence in the virtuous pursuits of manhood. While we 
are enjoying, in all ti>e vv'alks of life, and in every de- 
partment of knowledge, the results of their invaluable 
labors, they have not received the just tribute of their 
successful exertions. I am pleased, however, to observe 
the increased honor of a professor's chair, and to see the 
cause of instruction enlisting, in its behalf, the distin- 
guished men of the land. Statesmen of fame — high 
civil functionaries — accomplished scholars : — To behold 
men who have borne, with merited distinction^ the 
highest honors of state, presiding in the republics oflet- 
ters — others before them and now the Everetts and Pre- 
slons of our countr}' following their illustrious examples, 
and becoming in turn most illustrious examples them- 

The present age, my young friends, must strike you 
in a light, far diflferent from that in which it is present- 
ed to me. To me it is an age of REVOLUTION. As 
brief as has been my observation, compared with that 
of a long life, I seem to have passed through more chan- 
ges in the aflairs of men and of science, than I was wont 
to count in reading a century of history. You enter life 
upon the age as it is : — The present is your starting point ; 
I have been hurried along with its rapid movements, for 
twenty years. The impressions of its changes are viv- 
idly felt ; no account of them, from the most gifted pen, 
can ever reveal to you the sensations they inspired as 

tliey occmrctl, somclinic-; astonlslilng niaiikitid, and of- 
ten bewildering it witli llie suddenness and slinngcness 
of the event. In (wenl}^ years more, if llie impulses of 
the present day are not obstructed or diverted, yon will 
be able to feel as I feel. I am not claiming the privi- 
lege of age, to eulogise the past and depreciate the pres- 
ent ; for, in niany respects, I am made sensible that I 
drank at the fountain of scholasiic knowledge, in a day 
of ignorance contrasted with this. It is true that a 
comet, discovered, did not then alarm mankind with ap- 
prehensions of "pestilence and war," but it put all men 
in a state ofcuriosily to see the vagrant, liaming "through 
the void immense" — now (hey arc announced every 
iiionih, and seem often in companies, chequering the 
face of the heavens, and joiu'neying (ogetlier, like friends 
on the highwa}', "amid the music of the spheres." A 
few years ago, and those misls of distance, which for 
ages had spread their azure concave "high in the ex- 
panse of heaven," yet held the astronomer spell bound 
within a walled circle of discovery : — now, removed bv 
Iiis telescope, he luxuriates in a new field of beautiful 
creation, hidden from the eye of man since the founda- 
tion of the world ; and retreat(>d as they have countless 
myriads of miles, his probing vision yet pursues, and 
€vcn now, they hang trembling in the twilight of his 
glass, ready to fly (o regions slill more remote, and sur- 
render other worlds (o bis gaze. 

But while here and there, astronomers have been 
opening the secret pages of celeslial nature, genius, un- 
der the guidance of science and art, with a lliousand 
hands, and in eveiy civilized coimtry on (he globe, has 
been handling the elements of ear(h, and moulding 
them, in every imaginable form, for practical use ant! 
application. Tlie sluggish have been animated; the 
wild she has tamed ; she has subdued (he fiercf, and 
the subtle led. Water, fire, air, steam and electrici- 
ty, ail are 3"oked in (he harness of art, and arc creating, 

fefclirng", carrying, conconfratlng and tlistiiljiuitig-, ns 
taste and want may diioct, (he treasure? of mountain 
and plain, of the livcis and seas, of tiie poles and e- 
qiialor. Graduated to every degree of energy, the same 
power uplieaves a ton of iron, and directs the delicate 
Mie&h of the mazy lace ; hamniers the huge mass for a 
paixhan gun, and finishes the point of a needle. Even 
the loud fierce spark of the clouds is taught to drop its 
rage, to fawn on its conductor, and whisper along the 
wires. Time overcome, and leagues shortened to fur- 
longs, and the press free to discuss the principles of 
science, and prompt to announce every discovery and 
invention, the knowledge of all men- becomes the 
knowledge of each one. 

Upon this expanded basis the ingenuity of a hundred 
thousand minds, stimulated by fitime, by interest, by ne- 
cessity ant! by power, has been, for a quarter of a centu- 
ry, analyzing and combining the rich and various ele- 
ments of matter. Ffom such efforts, and with such 
means, the world has received an accession of scientific 
and practical knowledge, which surpasses the highest 
period of improvement, known in the history of time. 
The number and variety of inventions and discoveries, 
the rapidity of thcirsuccession, and, above all, their suc- 
cessful application to the pursuits of life, at first stag- 
gering mankind with fearful apprehensions of a stupen- 
dous change, have, by their use, so suspended the set- 
tled occupations of men, and rooted up the fixed hab- 
its of business, within my own time, that I seem, not 
only to have suffered a revolution, but to be in ihe midst 
of a far greater one still. The same causes at work 
and the means accumulated by each new discover}^, 
must inevitably impel onward a revolution, wliich, 
great as il is, I believe to be yet incipient ; whose end no 
man may predict, and whose final results no one may 

As sensible, however, as 1 am made of the immeas- 

utabie lioncfHs wliicli liavc accrued ami arc still accnimg^ 
to ii.Sj from (lie womlerful energies ofmimi, ami, a-scap- 
idly, as I am wliiiled along in (heir dazzling maicii, I 
ye( see mucli lliat obstructs tlie moral advancement of our 
species, and administers poison to the paesions of the 

While the scientific press, to the elevation and glory 
of the age, is spreading her pure and undefilcd lights 
over the workl, for the increase of knowledge and lUe. 
happiness of man, the li(erary press, for one valuable 
work, sends out half a score of books, which deprave 
the taste and corrtipt the affections. The ininiensily 
of the evil is such as (o attract the general attentioii of 
moralists, and enlist (he discerning and virtuous por- 
tion of modern writers, in the most praiseworthy at- 
tempts, to correct, through the press itself, its mischiev- 
ous and profligalG tendencies. These works, assuming 
the form of fiction, and professing, as a plausible pre- 
text for their publication, to paint sceacs froai real life, 
draw, nevertheless, almost invariabi}', from the sawie 
sources, the characters and materials of the composi- 
tion. The devotees of pleasure figure high in (h.e tale: 
and for the material, are selected those powerful fasciwa- 
tions whicli present themselves to the in^aginatioji of 
youth, and impatiently await the dawning of nia^urity 
for fruition. The soft luxuries of wealth and exquisite 
refinements of taste, often the most generous impulses 
of feeling, and finest accomplishments of manner cuibel- 
lisli the scenes and adorn (he peisonages, who are dcs- 
lined, with the fresh charms of youth and voluptuous 
graces of beauty, to enact the gaiticsand gallantries of a 
sensual life. 

I n:ed not ask tlic young, if tliey have ever Iieard the 
seductive song of (he Siren, nor how warmly' glows ll.i« 
inuigination, as she sings of the enjoyments, with whicli 
fancy opens the spring of our being. This period of life, 
the most dangerous by fur, beset as it i^; with illusioijs 

pccKliar (o (lie vi\'acity and ardor of a bosom, swelling' 
with the aniicipatioiis of iinlasted delights, needs every 
precept of morality and religion to curb its impetuosity 
and check its excesses, until, moderated by advice, and 
controlled by virtuous habits, the fierceness of its fires 
may expire in the sobering occupations of real life. — 
Yet, for renders of this description these books are in- 
tended ; and so great is the encouragement given to 
ihem, that the press labors with the supply. Even ge- 
nius, allured by the hope of reward, and a momentary 
fame, stoops from its high destiny, to pander to the vi- 
cious appetite, and aids in spreading the corrupting in- 
fluence over the generation, which constitutes, in the or- 
der of Providence, the great future reliance for integ- 
rity in government, purity in inoralsj and piety in reli- 

In the productions of tliis class, there is scarcely a 
noble sentiment uttered, which does not come to exten- 
uate some censurable act, or criminal propensit}'^ ; and 
vice stands forth bedecked in the flowers of virtue, till 
the impassioned reader is ready to believe the orna- 
ments are legitimately hers, and have been stolen by 
priests and moralists, and misapplied with a view to 
commit the human race to a cruel penance ofsuflTering' 
and mortification. Allured, persuaded, entranced — the 
congenial passions of the reader excited and inflamed, 
he leaps into the drama and selects, as a type for him- 
self, the most vicious character that figures in the scene. 
When the last page is finished, and the book is closed, 
what nest does he propose to himself? How few, alas! 
are they, who are ready to submit themselves to a self 
examination ; to call to their aid the lessons of morali- 
ty, or even to compare themselves of to day, with 
themselves of yesterday 1 The fences, indeed, around 
the heart, are undermined and sapped, but the illusioa 
is too sweet to allow it to be perceived ; and as soon as 
the last interesting scene ceases to excite, a new story 

is tlcmaiKlccl, of a similar (astc, with which (.u gratify 
tlic stiiiiuhxlcii passions, and satiate an appetite, which 
"grows on what feeds."'' 

Siicii works continue tlic false and corrnpling visions 
of llic imagination till (hoy beget a habit of thonght — 
a cnrrent of rcvery, so bewitching, that the soul, los- 
ing all delight for things as they are, loathes the reali- 
ties of life, and, continually reverting to its cherished 
visions, is never at case without the page that depicts 
them. This species of reading, quickly becoming a 
passion, creates a dreamy existence, from which the 
victim awakes with the same restless feelings, as does 
the confirmed eater of opium; both, alike, find life in- 
tolerable, without the poison, which first imparted, and 
now, at once, continues the disease and furnishes a ino- 
inentary comfort. Let no one suppose he may be ad- 
dicted to it, and abandon it at will. Those who use it, 
at first, to fill up a vacant hour, will soon cease (o 
have for it, an hour too sacred : and it is a great moral 
truth of practical experience, tliat, as certainly as read- 
ing trains the thought, thought will direct the conduct 
of life. 

Nor may one promise himself, to live the solitaiy vic- 
tim of the delusion. His example cannot but be conta- 
gious. The books of the parent will be the books of the 
child, whose greater suscejitibility of impression will con- 
stitute the surest means of fixing its tastes and habits, be- 
yond the voice of reason or hope of reformation. In- 
deed, against the spread of tlic contagion and its conse- 
quent evils, w^hich are nothing short of a war on the 
chaste affections of the bosom and all the decencies of 
life — nothing short of degrading every elevated feeling 
of the soul, until a voluptuous sensuality shall become 
its chief business, its only spring of action, its deity and 
its end — what sheild is now left in the hands of our de- 
fence, so efficient as the example of parents'? — what 
lesson, so impressive as the manly rebuke of a father, 


and ilie persuasive voice of a iiiotlicr ? If lliey ncgh ct 
the interesting duty, wlio will interfere I who point out 
to the child the pitfalls and quicksands, in (he jonrney 
of life, if she will not whose name is Love? Who will 
distrust the mother 1 Educate her in the precepts (hat 
purify, ennoble and adorn humanit}^, and she will, for 
(he talents bestowed, return to society choice jewels in^ 
deed. Her station in life — the moral beauty of the name 
of woman — the sweet influence of her person — the pow- 
er of her love — (he unsullied purily of her affections, in- 
stinctively inspire her with a dread of licentiousness, 
and place her the chief sentry against the foes of a do- 
minion, which she holds by the arm of her virtue. — 
If on such an arm as this, the purity of society may not 
repose in safety, the age indeed is undone. 

It IS now the turn of some of you, and shortly it will 
be the lot of all of you, to quit this institution where your 
associations have been with persons of literary taste and 
the higher orders of intellect, to mingle with the mass of 
your fellow citizens, and to witness, amongst them, a 
dearth of education which must bring pain to your bos- 
oms; and while you will not forget the du(y to aid in re- 
moving this source of public mortification, you will, doubt- 
less, perceive that in proportion to the degree of igno- 
rance by which you may be surrounded, will be increas- 
ed your responsibility as educated men. Time would 
not permit me to point out to yon the peculiar duties 
which spring from (his position. A superior education, 
where such an advantage is comparatively rare, at once 
places the young man on elevated ground, and it is ex- 
ceedingly natural, that he should attempt to avail him- 
self of its advantages. In this country, politics absorb 
an imdue portion of the honors whose fame is "sweet to 
mortal ears;" and those who are ambitious "to win a 
name — to leave some vesiage as they pass," usually en- 
ter the lists of popular preferment. It is a remark of 
(hat excellent moralist, Plutarch, whose lives the states- 


man cannot (oo oftPii rcatl, that it li^ laudable fur the cit- 
izen of a republic to be vcisetl in pnblic aflTair?. Aiul if, 
with dtie preparation in the study of your institutions 
and firm principles of action, yon can secure a public 
station and serve the conimonwealth, tiic service will be 
both honorable to you and grateful to the public. Rep- 
utation thus acquired will be worthy of the efiTort. If 
honestly to serve your country, and thus deserve distinc- 
tion, be your aim, the purpose is commendable ; but if 
station is sought, simply, because of the consequence it 
may bestow, it is an attempt ty rob the place from bet- 
ter men and your country of their services. Such seek- 
ers of place arc the demagogues of the republic, wlio, 
looking on office as a species of vacant property, open 
alike to the entry of all, deem themselves at liberty to 
jockey for the possession, with every art of dissimulation 
and flatter}''. 

Loosing all self respect, under the affectation of being 
wholly devoted to the great principles of freedom, they 
are heard boasting that they have no opinion of their 
own, and are but the mere echo of their master's will. 
If a popular prejudice prevails, they are swift to embrace 
it, and hasten to inflame and to lead it, and when the 
day of discovered and acknowledged error arrives, the3% 
cowardly take shelter under the popular delusion. AH 
things to all )nen, in principles and measures, they will 
carry their obsequiousness to the gravest matters of faith, 
and are prepared to worship, as the hour may advantage 
them, with the Musselman or the Morman. 

An educated man, thus the changeling of the times? 
and parasite of ignorance and prejudice, brings disgrace 
on the cause of letters, and engenders a profound con- 
tempt for government and the character of its rulers. — 
The author of these evils to his fellow men is seldom 
permitted to obtain the hoped reward of his prostituted 
ambition. Discovered often, and pardoned often, he be- 
comes at last the victim of his own duplicity, sinks to a 


ilislioiiorctl and ilieaded ub.sciiri(\ , ami «iin"ci7; a U»lal 
wreck. Abandoned b\' those lie has deceived, and \efl 
to Ills conscience, only for coniforl, (he cares of age and 
inorlified hopes g-athcr (heir dark clouds around the eve- 
ning of his days, and he closes his ill-spent life in a night 
of despair. 

Few are (he men who ever attained a just eminence 
as servants of the public, who have con(cn(cd them- 
selves with being the servile instruments of odiers — the 
mere passive machine in the hands of the multitude. — 
Men of superior genius and lionest convictions rise high 
over such shackles, and, planting themselves firmly 
against error and ignorance, will vanquish them or fall 
in the attempt — disdaining to lead an opinion which 
their judgment condemns, or to advocate a principle 
which (heir conscience abhors. Such is the firmness 
which honorable public service demands, and without it, 
no one should seek it. In its unflinching exercise hard 
struggles must be met and overcome : not once nor twice, 
but oftentimes. And the race is never run — (he ba(tle 
never finished, till tlie statesman retires from (he field. 

We cannot wonder then that prudent and difiulent 
men should so frequently avoid such a contest, and leave, 
to noisy audacity, the possession of the prize. 

Nor is it the demagogue alone, who, having exhaust- 
ed his arts, is ejected from favor. The patriot statesman 
who has known no wish but his country's glory and pros- 
perity, whose all was hers, and upon whose head she 
had, in moments of exultation, placed her crown ofgrat- 
itude, lias had it rudely snatched away and his fame 
eclipsed with the malignant clouds of envious rivalry. — 
Neither eloquence, exerted for his country's good in her 
hour of peril, nor that country saved by his advice from 
the discord of wars, or by his sword from conquest, nor 
the recolleclion of sacrifices, nor his oft time hazarded 
life, has, in the day of his trial, so pleaded for justice (o 
him, as he pleaded for her. His firm resistance to elo- 


((HfMil iii-inoi;'ooii.'.s, |() p.'rni(-i<Mi-^ Imt po|>iil;ii (•oiinscis, 
to a (IiiitiUmkhI (\ianny, or to llio fiantic tlclii-uons ol ilu; 
luiillitiiile, lias bioiigltt on liiiii llio condrniiialiui) ol' ;i 
j)eoplc uiisled by llie corrupt i\!ol of (he lionr. !(. had 
been easy fur him to have eluded lIic storm, by bowing- 
to its violence : and the facile reader will aslc, why it 
was not done. It is not in (he natnie of snch men to 
purchase their safet\' at the price; of their coimliy'is wel- 
J'are. They would rather die martyrs (o right, than be 
honored of wrong. Besides, as has been nobly asked 
by one of the best men of anticpiity — of what value (o 
ins conntiy are (he popularity and influenec of a states- 
man, if he will not, in the day of her peril, hazard theni 
in her defence ? 

But let not the demagogue gather cheer from these in- 
stances of the misguided judgment of an cx'ciled and de- 
luded people ; nor imagine, that, because both have fal- 
len by the sentence of the some tribunal, his crime is 
diminished, or that his disgrace has found a companion ; 
two such men can never travel in the same orbit. In (he 
day of their prosperity, they never met but as virtue 
and vice; and, in the hour of their adversity, they can 
have no fellowship of feeling. 

A sublimcr spectacle of moral grandeur cannot be wit- 
nessed, than when one who has been carried, for a score 
of yeors, upon the bosom of the popular wave, encoini- 
tcrs a mighty contrary tide, and braves the conflict WMth 
fn-mness, without faltering, or fear for himself. This 
hour it is that tries the statesman: an hoin-, in which a 
greater soul is demanded for the struggle, than ever hur- 
ried the warrior along the path of glory ; — in which his 
defeat will impart a future renown, brighter far than (hat 
which follows the victorious chief of battles. Ruled in 
all his conduct by a noble sense of justice, and daring 
now to be right, "when the rains descend and the floods 
come, and the winds blow," he meets (he storm as does 
the house (hat is "founded on a lock." Seciu'e in his 


position of honor nnd integrity, lie cnlmiy a\v:ii(s (lie 
jnclgnionl of onotlier ami a hotter day; anti whodier that 
tlav come in his own lime, or afterwaicls, he knows it 
Mill come : and if it he not given him to enjoy it with 
friends, yet, through the vista of the future, he sees it 
approaching, illumed with the sun of truth, in whose ra- 
diance he rends the hright record of an unsullied life, 
nnd a vindicated fame. Like Moses, from his Pisgah, 
lie is permitted to heliold a land hlessed hy his genius, 
nnd hiessing his name. 

But whether you prepare your wing for so difficult a 
flight, or he content to glide in an himibler course, you 
sliould never forget that your first step into the aflfairs of 
life is a step into power. Humble though it appear, as 
shared with so many thousands, yet it is the power of the 
land ; — greater in you, and of greater responsibility on 
you. The intelligence of the age will claim the tribute 
paid to its virtues, and must not expect to escape the 
censure bestowed on its vices. 

It is an error to suppose that we may avoid our share 
of responsibility hy surrendering it (o others. Where it 
is divided by design, it is a duty to discharge it : and the 
first great preparation is the cultivation of a proper sense 
of justice. To be just, in every relation of life, is an ad- 
mitted obligation ; and as the neglect of it in private life, 
singles out the individual, it is better guarded tiian that 
justice which large bodies of men owe to other large bo- 
dies of men. It is this species of justice — national jus- 
tice to which I would invite your attention ; — the silken 
cord which unites into one, the states of our confederacy, 
and the bright league of amity between the nations of 
tlie earth. Its omission, although it affect the renown of 
millions, is never so sensibly felt hy the mass of men, 
as individual wrong is by each one, when he sits in judg- 
ment on the fault of his neighbor. But, even in trials 
between them, where the question is clear to reflecting 
nuMi> a sense of justice is often lost in the excitement of 


local piuties, or siiiollicied nndrr a cloud of prrjiulicc. — 
And liow much moie apt is (liis (o occur, where masses, 
ill difiereiiL localities are opposed ? Prone (o he clannish, 
we are enlisted, at once, on the side of him who appears 
to take up (he quarrel of the community, and to feel^ 
not an interested wrong of his own, hut a generous fire 
against the wrong of all. Jealous at all times of insult 
and injury, we are quick to helicvc their existence, and 
ashamed not to feel their sting and join in the common 
vindication. Thus himdreds are swept along with the 
occasion without enquiry or reflection. The proposed 
end is nohle, the grief alleged is public, and unanimiiy, 
the most certain means of avengement, seems to he a 
virtue. Amidst such excitements calm investigation is 
denounced and candid counsel despised as cowardice. — 
The timid are first overawed, and then become zealots 
through fear of being suspected. 

Such scenes are of no rare occurrence between large 
bodies of men in dilferent sections of our own country, 
bound together, though they be, by so many present in- 
terests and close associations, and by many glorious re- 
collections of the past. And much more readily will 
they occur, between different nations, where the inter- 
ests are weaker, the associations few, and the past, 
viewed with indifference, or remembered with hatred. 

The idea of justice is not innate, and to possess a pro- 
per sense of it, is more difficult than the acquisition of 
any other virtue. Almost ever}'^ passion and affection, 
the constant companions of the human bosom, are in- 
cessantly beclouding the enquiry, what it is 7 and what 
it demands 1 And if these could be quieted, interest is 
seldom asleep, or without its persuasions (o mislead. 

In Egypt the emblem of justice was without a head, 
because it was supposed the heart should chielly direct 
it. But among the various representations designed (o 
offer a sensible idea of what itshonld be, I like that best 
which presents it as a "virgin with a piercing, steadfast 


eye:" — Piiic in iiilriilioii, keen and careliil (o oxainiiic, 
iirul nrni iti ilrcisioii. — -Naliona! Jn^i ice deniaiulsall llicse 
qiialilies, and demands tlieni all combined. The pnic 
heart, williunt llie rellecting head, is a mere blnndeier; 
the beslhead wilhouL the iiprii2,liL liearl, is often the 
most wicked of counscdlofs ; and both wilUout fii'mncss, 
is a wretched arbiter. 

National jnslice nuist owe its existence (o national 
lights. The variety and intricacy of these have greatly 
mnllipled in an age remarkable for the intercommnni- 
calion of the nations of the earth with their rich and 
boundless comnicrce, and the numberless instances with 
which the blessings of peace have woven t.iic web of hn- 
nian hai)piness. Something, certainly, has been done 
to produce these great results, by tiie charitable efforts 
of associated men ; but more — yes, nearly all, has been 
accomplished by the arm of national enterprise, directed 
by a pacific spirit of national aggrandizement. 

Traveling ourselves in this great highway of moral 
ambition, with the powerful nations of Christendom, and 
attaining, at every step, higher elevations and nobler po- 
sitions in the ascending scale of national being, how aw- 
ful must, be the responsibilit}' of that people which runs 
athwarl the way, and stops, or, what is likely to be far 
worse still, turns back, the sublime march — the lust 
nnitcd march of great and independent nations, since the 
beginning of time, leading to the common happiness of 
our species. When, in this race, collisions are menac- 
ed, or a jealous rivalry shall prompt one to seize the 
means of sliooting ahead, how essential, at such a mo- 
ment, is that cultivated sense of national justice, trained 
to examine with candor, and to decide with firmness I 
How requisite the noble soul of Aristides, which prefers 
a country's honor, before her interest; and dares to pro- 
nounce that "most unjust," wliicli is confessed to be 
"most advantageous." 
: In such emergencies, a true and enlightened patriot- 


i^m ac(d on (lir pi iiici[)ii>, that a nadoird honor i:* /"oniul- 
cil on llie jnslice of her cause, nnd draws not (he sword, 
witlionl aj3ppaling- to heaven for the rectilnde of lier in- 
tention, and ''snbniilling' llie facts to the decision of an 
impartial world." Nations have a deep interest in the 
acquisition of character, and the rash and ill-timed coun- 
sels of anger and rivalry di-grace the people that em- 
ploy them, and profane the page of their history. A na- 
tion renowned for its justice to others, will never be un- 
just to itself; and, from its high position, its claims will 
always be heard wiiii attention, and treated with respect. 
It is vain to suppose that a people will ever deserve a 
good name, who proudly despise all opinions of tiieir 
conduct but their own. With as much hope, may we 
look to find a worthy man, who is indifferent lo the 
esteem of his fellow men : and that sovereign, whether 
represented by the mnjoiity of the people, or by the 
majesty of a throne, who affects to contemn the judg- 
ment of the world, is either too proud to learn justice, 
or already too wicked to practise it. 

The moral restraint of the love of esteem on the ac- 
tions of men, is incalculably great — far more powerful 
than the simple love of justice. In individuals, it is 
most likely to loce its control, when, invested with a 
power so great as to make them fearless of scrutiny ; or, 
when elated by a rapid prosperity, which overpowers 
censure and demands admiration for extraordinary suc- 
cess. And a nation is in most danger, when, from a 
lowly beginning, emerging to greatness and outstripping 
every rival, she at length believes she has mounted to a 
destiny of grandeur and power, unequalled before ; and 
looking back on the laggards of the race, she remem- 
bers, with bitterness, the insultsand scorn with which they 
treated the struggles of her early and humble existence. 

It would be a sad spectacle, indeed, to behold a na- 
tion destitute of a high self esteem : but whilst there is 
little danger of our encountering thu- reproach, I fear 

18 - 

we arc not eufficiently careful of the opinion of others. 
Upwards of fifty years ago, Mr. Madison bore wilness fo 
the e.xistence of this vice, and admonished his country- 
uien of its evils. I siiall ofler no apology for repeating 
a warning which emenated from one of the purest and 
wisest men of his, or any other age. 

"An attention," says this virtuous citizen, "to the 
judgment of other nations is important to every govern- 
ment, for two reasons : the one is, that independently 
of the merits of any particular plan or measure, it is de- 
sirable on various accounts, that it should appear to oth- 
er nations as the offspring of a wise and honorable poli- 
cy : the second is, that in doubtful cases, particularly 
where the national councils may be warped by some 
strong passion, or momentary interest, the presumed or 
known opinions of the impartial world may be the best 
guide that can be followed. What has not America lost 
by her want of character with foreign nations ; and Iiow 
many errors and follies woulil she not have avoided, if 
the justice and propriety of her measures had, in every 
instance, been previously tried by the light in which 
they would probably appear to the unbiased part of man- 

The habit of evil speaking, it is said, punishes the 
speaker by mnking him a convert, in the course of time, 
to the belief of his own falsehood. Upon the philoso- 
phy of this principle it is, that great and essential (rnllis 
should be often proclaimed. How unhappy then for 
the cause of national justice, when public men contract 
the habit of speaking on international topics, without 
due care and examination; and the press, not only en- 
gages her powers to expend bitter invectives on a sister 
people, but libi'ls its own citizens, who may dare to 
stand in the current, after the example of the illustrious 
Chatham, and breast its violence. 

If it be important to the ends of a high self interest, or 
• Feiiera]ijt,'p. 'J9o- 


of justice lo others : if it be a lUity (A inciilc;\te and spreaJ 
habits and feelings of honest candor among (he people, 
or to write history with the pen of Irnlh, those who, to 
gratify a national vanity, implant or awaken a prejudice 
towards another nation, which clouds the light of truth, 
do, indeed, as sadly mistake the duties of patriotism, as 
the obligations of right. They may scorn the imputa- 
tion, yet, in truth, do they participate in the guilt of 
those, who, for the more ignoble end of advancing self, 
encourage the delusion. Both, in all ages, have been 
(he prominent authors of wars, and the real plunderers of 
the ploughman. In private life, no good man will de- 
mand what a sense of justice forbids him to take; and 
liis forbearance to do so, where he might succeed, con- 
s(itute3 his high character for honor. Shall a nation be 
guided by counsels less noble ] Is dishonor less when 
its responsibility is divided ] 

It was a remark of Chesterfield that the king ought to 
be the first gentleman of the realm : and I will add, that 
the justice of a nation should never be surpassed by the 
highest justice of the purest citizen. As a great moral 
person, it should be the standard of excellence, raised 
above the approach of mere passion and interest — a ma- 
jesty whose diadem should sparkle with the jewels of 
its virtues. "Our country, may she always be right; 
but our country right or wrong" — was the sentiment of 
a noble and gallant hero of our land. Understood cor- 
rectly, it is equally true, patriotic and beautiful. With 
an admission that she may be wrong, comes the earnest 
and emphatic prayer, (hat she "may be right" — a feel- 
ing entreaty, that she would carefully and conscientious- 
ly examine the ground she might take, accompanied 
w^ith a decided announcement of devotion to her position, 
whatever it might be, when by her councils she had de- 
termined it. It is a beautiful abridgement of the nation- 
al compact. 

Simple as is the sentiment, I doubt whether one ha» 


been more iVocjiionlly peiverlcti to rcbiii.e the ficcdom of 
enquiry, nnd tlillc ilie cnndid exprc;^sion of n sense of 
national justice. Properly nndeistood, it applies eqiial-^t 
ly to tlie statesman, who is deliberating on national^ 
claims disputed, and (o the soldier called lo defend na- 
tional rights decided. Yet, in the eager liaste of some, 
it is ripe for application, (he moment a pretension is ad- 
vancetl ; who disdaining" all enquiry of the right, reject 
the first half of the expression, and call up the chivalry 
ofthe land and marshal it, straightway, upon a claim 
iinde(crn)ined, "for our country right or wrong." Theie 
cannot be perpetrated a more glaring injustice on the 
brave man who uttered the sentiment, than thus to mu- 
tilate il. The high ton.ed soul of the sensitive and la- 
mented Decatur would rather have met every foe of his 
country in balile, than encountered so foul a slander up- 
on his sense of justice, fiom his countrymen. 

Nor may we, while studious to cultivate a sense of jus- 
lice to other nations, overlook what is due to ourselves. 
Whether a nation is more culpable in pretermitting its 
own clear rights, or in nsm'ping the unquestioned rights 
of another, is what I purpose not to decide. Both are 
equally opposed to a correct sense of justice, and policy 
alone, perhaps, might determine between the two wrongs. 
In the proper cultivation of this sense we cannot learn 
the duties we owe, without fixing, with equal exactitude, 
(he duties we may demand ; and when tlie former are 
ascertained, we cannot neglect the latter but with the 
guilt of cowardice or treacliery. Although ib.c interests 
and passions ofthe citizen are, generally, sufficient safe- 
guards against a tame surrender of national rights, yet 
interests and passions, equally influential, are sometimes 
found indifferent to, if not arrayed on the side of foreign 
assnmptioiis. Peace, blessed in her horn of plenty, is 
ready to make a thousand sacrifices to war ; and luxuri- 
ous case buckels on her armor with reluctance to quit 
her passionate cnjcyments. An enterprising people is 


fU'Vf I slow lo j)rrcrive, and is oKimi, bii( too willing' to 
reiip llif advaniage. It is licie ihat a sense of nadonnl 
jnsticPj properly cullivated as a dnt_v, and, becoming, by 
reflection, a habit, is a poweiTnl protection of national 
honor. As a iiabit, it keeps t'le duty always before ns ; 
and the very ciictnnstance of being trained to render 
justice to others, will arouse a spirit of strong indigna- 
tion when it is withheld from us. Of a truth it may be 
affirmed, that he is ''doubl}' armed whose quarrel is 

Tt rarely happens that, in ilie same age of a people, 
they are under a necessity both of setting bounds to their 
im just exactions, and of arousing a subdued national spir- 
it against the aggressions of others. The former is gen- 
erally, the precursor of the latter: and it is the history of 
the earth, that that nation which, in a long career of 
ambition, has closed its ear against the demands of jus- 
tice to others, becomes, in the end, indiflerent to a sense 
of justice to itself. It is a settled law of Provitlence, and 
a just punishment of tyranny, which neither the heroic 
soul of a BrutuS; nor the inflexible virtues of a Cato, nor 
both combined, may avert. If then, your government 
is the best yet tried, and for that reason, you would ren- 
der it both immortal and universal, learn, as a first duty, 
(0 cultivate a sense of justice lo others, — "to demand of 
them nothing but what is right," and yon will be sure 
"to submit to nothing that is wrong." 

As a liberal education expands the mind, opens the 
channels of truth and reason, elevates the feelings and 
purifies them of prejudice, to whom shall the nation look 
for a bold, impartial and candid sense of national justice, 
if not to you, destined, if you will not bury your talent, 
to bo lights and ornaments in your day? To whom 
shall a government look, w'hose only pillars are the vir- 
tue and intelligence of her people, if not lo those who 
are trained in the philosophy of her schools with ihe 
generous erudition of the times ? Upon what other class 


of citizen?, wonKl yon, taking refuge in ilic lap of indo- 
lence, cast (he bnrden of inceiing, wiili manly firmness, 
liie slorms of excited prejndice and delnsion, or of awak- 
ening the spirit of national justice, slumbering in apa- 
thy and ease 1 It is true, (here are others, who never 
having had your opportunities may feci the full man- 
hood of being a freeman, and would rather be overborne 
by the whirlwind than be chief of the storm. Snch men 
there are, who, lured in the path of station by (he love 
of honor, and the true glor}' of serving their conniry, 
liave yet jianscd before the highest prize of ambition, 
and dared to lose it in preferring to be right. But with 
such examples before yon, yonr duty to follow is redou- 
bled, and justice demands, as her most inflexible vota- 
ries, those who drink her precepts at the fountain of 
"useful learning." 

Never had a people so deep an interest in the cultiva- 
tion of a due sense of national justice, as those of these 
confederated states. Each occupying the position, in 
many respects, of a nation, presents, continually, con- 
flicts of interest, institutions and laws, not only with her 
nei^'hbor, but with the general government itself. Each 
proud of its individuality, and sensitive of its honor, hav- 
ing rights to demand and obligations to fulfil a high 
sense of justice, only, and an habitual observance of if, 
at all times, can secure that union in which are lodged 
both independence and liberty. Upon this generation 
rests, and, on every subsequent generation, will rest, 
the preservation of that cor.cord, whose life is justice ; 
whose fruit is a nation's happiness, and whose trophies, 
the n)agnlficent monuments of peace. 

Allow me, my friends, to address a few words to those 
of you, who, to-morrow, will terminate their connection 
with this University, to enter upon the destined avoca- 
tions of life. To select your pursuit with discretion, is 
of no small importance ; but of far greater is it, that you 
should steadily adhere to it, after the selection. To be 


deterred by llie TirsL obstacles which present iheinselves, 
IP, virtuall}', to surrender all occupation. To overcome 
the first, will render easy the victory over all that may 
come afler. Perseverance lias never deniec--if|S" reward, 
and Fickleness has never complied with her promises. 
The habits of industry, regularity and order are essential 
to success in every undertaking' : once ncquired, they 
economise time and labor, and lead to accmacy ; but 
they are easily lost, and much more easily lost, than ac- 
quired. Their possession is, to any man of respectable 
talents, a fortune : and you will not put a proper esti- 
mate on the value of S3'stem conducive to these habits, 
if you suppose that it is introduced here, without intend- 
ing to inculcate its utility for future life. It is indeed a, 
part of your education, and is, expressly, so designed. — 
The labor performed by some men seems to be beyond 
our conception, but the whole secret lies in the admira- 
ble economy of system. 

Do not imagine that the restraints imder which you 
have been placed, during your collegiate course, are 
evils ; nor that, in escaping from them, you are about to 
rush on a day of joyous emancipation. You have but 
laid the foundation on which the superstructure may 
arise ; and if you build at all, the square and the plum- 
met will be as necessary in your hands, as they have been 
in those of yonr preceptors. If your workmanship show 
any grace or strength, it will be the result of disciplined 
labor: a labor which geniu?, sometimes, despises as 
drudgery ; but a labor which ever overtakes the fitful 
pace of genius, and leaves her behind, amused with in- 
genious trifles, or always putting ofl'a great work, because 
she can so easily accomplish it. 

Tliose Avho maintain that all men are born with equal 
intellect, undoubtedly embrace an error ; but the dispar- 
ity is much less than is generally supposed. The ca- 
pacity of the mind is the gi'rat standard of its CNxellence, 
land whilst inequality in this la admitted, it may be tru- 


ly aftlnneil thai, nitic (eiiUis of niai)kiiid possess enotigli 
to master the luosL abstruse sciences, and to raise them- 
selves, b)^ an untiring industry, to an extraordinary 
height, and far beyond the level of their fellows. Dis- 
tinguished men, made so by application, are far more 
numerous than distinguished men, made so by genius. 

If yon will it, eminence is within your reach : if, when 
you quit this retreat, you are resolved to ascend, you 
rnay ascend, but think not to leap to the prize : the slow 
and steo.d}' step is the sure one. Nor think, if chance 
should aid you to spring, at once, to an exalted station, 
you have certainly beconie great : the station may be 
eminent, but he is the weakest of men, and most to be 
pitied, who adorns his ofijce only by wearing its robes. 
A life of study lies before you, and you must enter on it 
with cheerfulness and decision, if you would aspire to 
real greatness. The smiles and blandishments of pleas- 
nre will play around your path to lure you from yoiu' 
toil ; ease and rest will spread their couches with dam- 
ask and down, and you will fiiller as you proceed, and 
be lost if you slop. That world which will receive you, 
Avill be awake to the new comer; and little as you ma}" 
think if, will soon determine for itself, your character; 
your opinions and your conduct will be noted, — not in- 
deed to be acknowledged as standards, but for comment 
and criticism : and the impressions you make will quick- 
ly bring about you the society supposed to be accepta- 
ble ; and, remember, this society often decides the des- 
tiny of young i^ien, irrevocably. 

Do not persuade yourselves that you can be intimate 
with men, without imbibing a portion of their opinions, 
or, without being influenced, in your conduct, by their 
advice ; for, of all qualities, a generous mind is most de- 
ficient in tirniness. First yeilding, as an act of courtesy, 
fo what it does not approve, it next concedes to friend- 
ship, what it positively dislikes ; and hahit, coming in 
aid of the conquectj coinplcteci both the conversion and 


the ruin. Be^val■c, then, of your associationp ; for, 
slandiiig" as you will, in llio mid.^t of tcmplalions, j'ou 
will be as a needle on its pivot, — the smallest attrac- 
tion may change and determine the direction of yoiu" 
life. Wherever you may go — in what spot soever you 
may inhabit, you will find living' mementos of these 
truths ; — unhappy wrecks who, in their bright and buoy- 
ant morning, embarked on the warters of pleasiu'e, at 
first, timidly keeping the shcre, then ventming to circle 
around the returning eddy, and, finally, caught up by 
the current, 'and borne away in the rapid tide itself. — 
If these do not warn you, no man's precepts may a- 

Freedom of opinion is a privilege which no tyranny 
can fetter; but it is neither safe nor becoming to express 
every conviction of the mind. By the judgment of the 
enlightened world, Christianity is essential to the happi- 
ness of men, and he, that would publicly question its 
flulhenticity, should stand on higher ground than mere 
opinion. Has speculative scepticism ever added a 
feather to the wing of science, or imparted to art a pol- 
ish, or bestowed on labor a sinew ? What crime has it 
ever reformed, what virtue improved 1 And practical 
scepticism — has it ever erected a cabin for the unshel- 
tered, furnished a garment for the naked, or provided 
food for the hungiy?' — unlocked a prison door, or giv- 
en a cup of cold water to the thirsty ? — character to au 
individual, or just renown to a nation 7 It is the report- 
ed saying of an eminent philosopher, upon seeing an 
infidel, in a tempest, beseeching his safety from Provi- 
dence, that scepticism might do for the land, but was 
wholly unsuited to the waves. 

But it is now more than the precept of wisdom, — it is 
the experience of a trying age, that whilst, like a cow- 
ard, it disowns itself, amidst the storms of the ocean, it 
raises like a demon, moral storms upon the land. It is 
fit for no place — neither where the elements frown, 


nor wliPie t!ia t'lenieiils sDiile. In the shadow of deaiU 
ii is despair: — in iho sunshine t>f health it is the licen- 
tioiis, ready to fwe (he sleeping passions, and 
spread their hlai^e over the institutions of justice and